St. Louis Cathedral

The St. Louis Cathedral is one of New Orleans' most notable landmarks. Few cities in the world are so identified by a building as is New Orleans. The city is instantly recognized by the cathedral and its position overlooking Jackson Square. It is actually the fourth Cathedral built upon its current location.

The two buildings which used to house the congregation of St. Louis Cathedral were destroyed by unfortunate events. The first building used as the Cathedral was lost to a hurricane in 1722, just four years after the city's official founding. The Cathedral which replaced the earliest structure then burned to the ground in New Orleans' Good Friday Fire in 1788. The third itinary of St. Louis Cathedral was built in 1794, but by the mid-1800s, the congregation decided that they wished to enlarge their parish church. Thus, the fourth (and final) version of St. Louis Cathedral went up in the 1850s.

This venerable building, its triple steeples towering above its historic neighbors, the Cabildo and the Presbytere - looks down benignly on the green of the Square and General Andrew Jackson on his bronze horse and on the block-long Pontalba Buildings with their lacy ironwork galleries. Truly, this is the heart of old New Orleans.

The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States.


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